One of the pros of proper preparation is an extended life of the finish. Some experts say that 50% of painting house exteriors should be the preparation if done correctly. Because the exterior of you house gets the most intense sunlight and endures the harshest weather, you should take extra precautions and not cut corners when preparing them
Sometimes it is worthwhile to hire a contractor to paint your house because of all the prep work that is required. If you find this to be true, make sure that the preparation to get the house painted is included in your estimate. If you are not sure where to find a reputable painting contractor, a great source online is www.paintersource.com. It is a free online directory that can help you find great painters in your neighborhood.
It is very important to start by taking a look around the entire house to identify problem areas and also get a good picture in your head of what your goal is. Many times a whole house will be painted and when the job has been completed you may realize you need to replace most of the shingles. This can easily be avoided by taken note of any areas that may need to be replaced in the future.
As you walk around your house, look at areas around windows and trim and make sure you check fascia boards. Anything that you see that is split or rotten should be replaced before you paint. You can repair small damage easily with wood filler but bigger areas should be checked and replaced.
Before painting, ensure that your house is as clean and debris free as possible. Power washers are available for rent and can be invaluable when cleaning your house. Power washing will also remove any loose paint and dirt that may have accumulated. If you feel more comfortable with a professional doing the power washing you can pay most painters a little extra to power wash the entire exterior.
Depending on the quality of the existing paint or stain you may need to strip and sand the entire exterior. Although this may sound like an unnecessarily tedious procedure it will be well worth the time and labor when your finish is indestructible.
If you are planning on staining, the prep work, such as sanding and power washing, should be done until the raw wood is exposed. If painting the exterior of your house then prep work should continue until all surfaces that are being painted are flat and smooth. All these techniques will ensure that your house has a beautiful even finish that will hold up for the life of the house.